I’ve always been one to critique and be hard on myself about my appearance. I used to spend so much time looking at myself in the mirror, looking for flaws and imperfections, putting myself down. Why? Why do we do this?
The media misconstrues our way of thinking. They do a really good job at making sure that we try to look like someone else. There’s always the next Kylie Jenner that all the girls want to look like. What happened to just being who you’re supposed to be? What’s the point of always trying to be like someone else?
Since I could remember, people always told me I have big hands. It was something normal to me. It became a regular thing to hear, “dang, Sami your hands are huge!” “what the heck, your hand is bigger than mine?!” Yeah, that was the usual for me. And for a long time it never really bothered me, because I’d just brush it off. But then, when it continued to happen and happen, over and over again, I got angry. I began to dread that my hands were big. It really brought my self-esteem down. I started to look into other parts of my body more. I started to critique parts of me that I never did. I complained about my wide hips, big feet, lanky legs, and arms, you name it, I complained about it all.
I share this because our generation is starting to get worse and worse, now all kids have iPhones and access to social media so easily. It’s crazy to me to hear some of these kids and what they talk about. When I was in elementary school or even middle school cell phones barely had caller ID, no internet, and playing outside with your friends was the fun thing to do. This new age we are can be horrific. Kids are growing up way too fast, and the things we focus on are superficial, temporary, and just not worth the time.
Now that I’ve grown up and am kind of out of that self-criticism stage, I’ve learned so much about my worth and value. It’s not in anything I wear, how I look, or my body. It’s who I am as a human being. The type of person I am towards others and the words that I say, that make me the beautiful person I am. I don’t mean beautiful to boast about myself, but God made me uniquely and perfectly just the way I am. In HIS eyes I have no imperfections. My hands are not too big, my hips are not too wide, my legs are not too long and lanky. He sees me as a treasure, as a diamond, and I want to be able to live up to that in the way I act and perceive to be to others. I’ve worried way too long about my appearance, and now I’m just over it.
I post this not to be negative but to encourage you, not to focus on appearance. I know it’s so hard not to and I get that we want to look good but it’s time that we really focus on whats important. Let’s give ourselves grace, be nice to our bodies and remember that who we are, our inner being, our soul and the character that we possess, matters way more than how we look or how we think we are supposed to look. My current reminders to myself are to be me, to look at my imperfections and say “this is what makes me Sami, and there’s no one else out there who looks like me” that way my focus isn’t on my image but rather my entire person. I also then have a better attitude when I leave my house because I’ve shifted my mentality to have a more positive outlook.
A Balancing Act
Let’s face it, we live in a world in which we have access to everything, quicker and easier. The key is to keep everything in balance: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Do I succeed in these areas all the time? Obviously not. But overall, I make an effort because I am aware that these things contribute to a positive body image. Honestly, writing this blog is very therapeutic, it has afforded the opportunities to have a platform for my thoughts and desire to share and support others in this journey.
Stay tuned for future posts about the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual balancing act and how it affects body image. But in the meantime, if you’d like to read more here’s a post on changing your attitude.